In the latest issue of Reuters Events Sustainable Business's quarterly magazine we look at how energy efficiency is getting short shrift in energy policy, a new U.N. panel to keep companies honest on their net-zero promises, how activists are targeting SUVs, and the implications of the SEC climate reporting rules. We also profile Ann Mukherjee, CEO of Pernod North America

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was the most alarming yet, warning that the prospects for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees are vanishingly small without “immediate and deep” cuts in greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors.

“We are at a crossroads. The decisions we make now can secure a liveable future. We have the tools and know-how required to limit warming,” said the IPCC’s chair, Hoesung Lee, citing in particular vast cost reductions in renewable technologies and batteries in the past decade. 

Yet as Angeli Mehta reports in her latest Policy Watch column,  the immediate threat to energy security caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led Western governments to make decisions that risk throwing such progress into reverse by locking in investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure.

At the same time, there is little focus on driving down energy demand through efficiency measures such as insulation and heat pumps. 

(Credit: Reuters TV via Reuters)

The IPCC report for the first time highlighted the need for more sustainable and resource-efficient consumption, also known as Sustainable Development Goal 12. However, as Mark Hillsdon reports in his Society Watch column, there seems little appetite to downsize when it comes to cars, given the rapid rise in ownership of SUVs globally.

He talks to activist groups that have targeted them for clogging urban streets, spewing pollution and contributing to the rise in deaths of pedestrians.  And while the car industry can point to plans to electrify SUVs, activists say this is no answer given the critical shortage of minerals for car batteries.

On a more positive note, the U.N. Secretary-General’s office has struck a high-level expert panel to ensure businesses walk the talk on their climate pledges. In his Brand Watch column Oliver Balch reports on a development that could help bring some order to the Wild West of voluntary net-zero target-setting.

And Mike Scott, in his ESG Watch column, reports on reaction to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s tough new climate reporting rules.

Finally, Oliver Balch profiles Ann Mukherjee, the Indian-American woman who is chief executive of Pernod Ricard North America, about how she has been championing diversity and inclusion.    

I hope you enjoy this month’s issue.

Main picture credit: Mike Blake/Reuters


IPCC  Ukraine crisis  fossil fuels  energy efficiency  heat pumps  SUVs  UN High Level Panel  SEC  Ann Mukherjee  Pernod Ricard 

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